Police Standoff With Armed Resident Ends Peacefully


What began as a domestic dispute at a residence on the 300 block of Heritage Lane evolved into a standoff between police and a heavily armed man who barricaded himself inside his home Saturday night.

The dispute ended without incident within two hours, when 35-year-old Thomas McCorgary surrendered to police. He was charged with disorderly conduct/domestic violence, criminal damage/domestic violence and reckless endangerment/domestic violence.


Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said quick action by patrol officers, the work of the department's highly trained Special Response Team and police negotiator, Sgt. Dean Faust, contributed to a peaceful end to the standoff in Trailwood. Pictured: Sgt. Don Garvin and Det. Matt Van Camp were two of the officers involved in the standoff.

Police arrived at the McCorgary home at 9:30 p.m., where a neighbor reported that he was intoxicated, armed, and threatening suicide.

"It was a third party who reported it to police," Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said. "The wife was advised by this third party to take the children and get out of the residence when there was mention of a gun."

McCorgary's wife and child were quickly taken to safety by police who arrived on scene shortly after the 911 call.

"When officers arrived, she was just coming out onto the front porch and the officers were able to get her and the child away from the scene," Engler said.

Alone in the house, McCorgary then barricaded himself inside.

The seven-member police Special Response Team was called to assist with the situation.

"The SRT was called because he had several weapons available to him and officers needed some extra manpower," Engler said. "The SRT is trained for these kinds of situations."

Neighbors were alerted and given the option to evacuate. Nearby streets were barricaded and a command post was set up at Payson Parkway and Whiting Drive.

"We let neighbors know that there was a police operation in progress," Engler said. "We took steps not to allow him to go mobile, and formed a perimeter to make it safe for the neighborhood and so he couldn't get out of the neighborhood."

Sgt. Dean Faust, the department's negotiator, contacted McCorgary by phone, while officers surrounded the home.

Faust spoke to McCorgary for more than an hour from the command post.

McCorgary was reported by officers to be handling several different weapons while in the home, including a Glock 9 mm handgun, a .45-caliber pistol and a Glock .357.

"He was waving a gun through the window at our officers," Sgt. Rod Mamero said.

"He was threatening to shoot any officer who tried to enter the residence," Engler said.

During the standoff, McCorgary requested to talk to a few residents, including Mayor Ken Murphy, who arrived at the command post. Police, however, denied the request.

"The risk of danger is too high," Engler said. "And we preferred that he talk to our police negotiator."

Just under two hours later, McCorgary surrendered to police without incident.

"I think Sgt. Faust did an excellent job of communicating with him and getting him to see that there was a way out of his situation, other than the way he had initially chosen," Engler said. "He laid down his weapons, came out of the house, and was cooperative with the arrest team."

McCorgary was booked into jail and released on his own recognizance the following day.

Engler attributes the outcome of the incident to a quick response by officers, and an effective police negotiation.

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